Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Chili peppers nutrition facts

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Health benefits of chili peppers

  • Chili pepper contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • Chilies contain health benefiting an alkaloid compound in them, capsaicin, which gives them strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
  • Fresh chili peppers, red and green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about 143.7 µg or about 240% of RDA. Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis inside the human body. Collagen is one of the main structural protein required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps protect from scurvy, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity), and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • They are also good in other antioxidants such as vitamin-A, and flavonoids like ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidant substances in capsicum help protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, diseases conditions.
  • Chilies carry a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • Chilies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them from external sources to replenish.

Chili peppers have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance):

240% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
32% of vitamin A,
13% of iron,
14% of copper,
7% of potassium,
but no cholesterol.

Cayenne pepper nutrition facts

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Health benefits of cayenne peppers

  • Although inherently hot and intolerable even in small amounts, cayennes are one of the health-benefiting spice items packed with minerals, vitamins and certain phyto-nutrients. It is no wonder this wonderful spice has been found a place in modern as well as in traditional medicines for its disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • Cayenne contains health benefiting alkaloid compound, capsaicin which gives them strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. When used judiciously it also found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
  • Fresh cayenne peppers, red or green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about 76.4 mg or about 127% of RDA of this vitamin. Vitamin-C is a potent water soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is one of the main structural protein inside the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • Cayenne chili peppers are perhaps the richest source of vitamin A among spices. Just 100 g of cayenne has 41,610 IU or astoundingly 1387% of vitamin A. Additionally, this prized spice is also home for anti-oxidant flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein, zea xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these antioxidants in cayenne help to protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, and disease conditions.
  • The spice contains very high levels of essential minerals. Even if consumed in small quantities regularly would provide sufficient levels of iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium and selenium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Selenium is an anti-oxidant trace element required by the human body for smooth heart and liver functions.
  • 100 g of cayenne peppers provides 2014 mg or 47% of a daily-required amount of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte in the cells and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It thus, counters the bad effects of sodium.
  • Cayenne peppers are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. B-complex vitamins facilitate cellular metabolism through various enzymatic functions.

Cayenne peppers have amazingly very high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of Recommended daily allowance):

127% of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid),
39% of vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine),
54% of niacin,
71% of riboflavin,
1387% of vitamin A,
97.5% of iron,
41% of copper,
43% of potassium,
but no cholesterol.

Caraway seed nutrition facts

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Health benefits of caraway seeds

  • In addition to their utility in traditional medicines, caraway seeds have their own food value, and indeed, have several health benefiting nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
  • Caraway seeds are rich source of dietary fiber. 100 g seeds provide 38 g of fiber, 100% of daily recommended intake of fiber. Soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber increase bulk of the food and help prevent constipation by speeding up its movement through the gut. In fact, gastro-intestinal transit time of food is greatly decreased.
  • Fiber also binds to toxins in the food and helps protect the colon mucusa from cancers. Further, dietary fibers bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) and decrease their re-absorption in colon, and thus help in reducing serum LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Caraway contains several health benefiting essential oils. Principle volatile compounds are carvone, limonene, carveol, pinen, cumuninic aldehyde, furfurol, and thujone. These active principles in the caraway seeds known to have antioxidant, digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties.
  • Caraway has several health benefiting flavonoid antioxidnats such as lutein, carotene, crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthin. These compounds are indeed work as powerful anti-oxidants by removing harmful free radicals from the body and thus protect from cancers, infection, aging and degenerative neurological diseases.
  • Caraway spice is an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Copper required for the production of red blood cells. Iron required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • The caraway seeds indeed are the storehouse for many vital vitamins. Vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C as well as many B-complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and niacin particularly concentrated in the seeds.

Capers nutrition facts

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

n general, their small cream colored buds are gathered by handpicking in the early morning hours of the day, which otherwise would unfold into a beautiful whitish-pink four sepal flower with long tassels of purple stamens. Soon after harvesting, the buds are washed and allowed to wilt for few hours in the sun before putting them into jars and covered with salt, vinegar, brine, or olive oil.

In commercial practice, capers are categorized and sold by their size in the markets. Smaller sized buds fetch more value than large ones. Non-pareil and surfines are some of small buds, while capucines, capotes and grusas are sold as big size category capers.

 

Health benefits of capers

  • Being flower buds, capers are in fact very low in calories, 23 calories per 100 g. However, this spice-bud contains many phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins essential for optimum health.
  • Capers are one of the plant sources high in flavonoid compounds rutin (or rutoside) and quercetin. Capers are in-fact very rich source of quarcetin (180 mg/100 g) second only to tea leaf. Both of these compounds work as powerful anti-oxidants. Research studies suggest that quercetin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Furthermore, rutin strengthen capillaries and inhibits platelet clump formation in the blood vessels. Both these actions of rutin help in smooth circulation of blood in very small vessels. Rutin has found application in some in trial treatments for hemorrhoids, varicose veins and in bleeding conditions such as hemophilia. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals
  • The spicy buds contain healthy levels of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin K, niacin, and riboflavin. Niacin helps lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Furthermore, minerals like calcium, iron, and copper are present in them. High sodium levels are because of added granular sea salt (sodium chloride).

Medicinal uses

  • Caper parts have been used to relieve rheumatic pain in traditional medicines.
  • The spicy caper pickles traditionally added to recipes as appetite stimulant. In addition, they help relieve stomachache and flatulence conditions.

Bay leaf nutrition facts

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Health benefits of bay leaf

  • Bay leaf was highly praised by the Greeks and the Romans, who deeply believed that the herb symbolizes wisdom, peace, and protection.
  • The spice contains many notable plants derived compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • This spice has many volatile active components such as a-pinene, ß-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, a-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol, and chavicol. These compounds are known to have been antiseptic, anti-oxidant, digestive, and thought to have anti-cancer properties.
  • Fresh leaves are very rich source of vitamin-C; provide 46.5 mg or 77.5% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant that help remove harmful free radicals from the body. Ascorbic acid also has immune booster, wound healing and anti-viral effects.
  • Furthermore, its fresh leaves and herb parts are very good in folic acid; contain about 180 mg or 45% of daily-recommended values per 100 g. Folates are important in DNA synthesis and when given during the peri-conception period, they can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  • Bay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A; contain 6185 IU or 206% of recommended daily levels per 100 g. Vitamin A is a natural antioxidant and is essential for healthy visual sight. It is also required for maintaining mucusa and skin health. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A has been found to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • The spice is indeed a very good source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function, and regulating body metabolism.
  • This noble spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes.

 

Medicinal uses of bay leaf

  • Medicinally, the benefits of the bay leaf and its berries are plentiful. It has astringent, diuretic, and appetite stimulant properties.
  • Essential oil from the bay leaves contains mostly cineol (50%); furthermore, eugenol, chavicol, acetyl eugenol, methyl eugenol, a- and ß-pinene, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol and terpineol are also found.
  • Infusions of herb parts are reputed to soothe stomach ulcers and help relieve flatulence and colic pain.
  • The lauric acid in the bay laurel leaves has insect repellent properties.
  • The components in the essential oil can also be used in many traditional medicines in the treatment of arthritis, muscle pain, bronchitis and flu-symptoms.

Anise seed nutrition facts

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Health benefits of anise

  • Exotic anise spice carry some of the important plants derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
  • the main essential volatile oil that gives the characteristic sweet, aromatic flavor to anise seed is anethole. Other important compounds found in these seeds include estragol, p-anisaldehyde, anise alcohol, acetophenone, pinene and limonene.
  • Anise seed oil obtained from extraction of the seeds has been found application in many traditional medicines as stomachic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and tonic agent.
  • The seeds are an excellent source of many essential B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) helps increase GABA neuro-chemical levels in the brain.
  • The spicy seeds are one of important source of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. 100 g dry seeds contain 36.96 mg or 462% daily required levels of iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome C-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required in the production of red blood cells.
  • The spice also contains good amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A.

Allspice nutrition facts

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Health benefits of Allspice

  • Certain active principles in allspice have been found to have anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative, and anti-flatulent properties.
  • Allspice corns contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to this spice. It also contains caryophyllene, methyleugenol, glycosides, tannins, quercetin, resin, and sesquiterpenes. At the processing units, these volatile essential oils are obtained through distillation process using this spice corn. The outer coat of the allspice-berries is believed to have the greatest concentration of some of the compounds of medicinal activities.
  • As in black peppercorns, the active principles in the allspice may increase the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract in addition to aid in digestion through facilitating enzyme secretions inside the stomach and intestines.
  • Eugenol, has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties. It found useful in gum and dental treatment procedures. Recent research studies have shown that the preparation made from allspice oil mixed with extractions from garlic & oregano can work against E.coli, Salmonella and L.monocytogenes infections.
  • The spice is enriched with good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, copper, selenium, and magnesium. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes during cellular metabolism. It is also required for red blood cell production inside the bone marrow. Being an important component of cell and body fluids, potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is utilized inside the human body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • Further, this spice also carries a very good amount of vitamin A, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavin, niacin and vitamin-C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant; regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

Grapefruit nutrition facts

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Grapefruit is an evergreen, medium-sized tree grown for its fruit. It grows upto 15 meters in height and bears numerous yellow-orange fruits in clusters during each season. It is, in fact, a natural hybridization of pomelo and orange.

It was first discovered in the forests of Caribbean island, Barbados. Today, it is one of the widely cultivated fruits in the United States, particularly in Florida, California, and the other semi-tropical Southern states.

Grapefruit is oblate in shape, ranges in diameter from 3 to 5 inches and can weigh up to 150 g. Characteristically, it has thick, tough skin than that in the oranges. Inside, the fruit is segmented into arils as in other citrus fruits. Its arils are very juicy, acidic, and varying in color depending on the cultivars, which could be white, pink and red of varying sweetness. While some varieties are seedless, there may be upto 50 white, elliptical, pointed seeds about 1/2 inches in length in some.

 

Health benefits of Grapefruit

  • Delicious, grapefruit is very low in calories, consists of just 42 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless; it is rich in dietary insoluble fiber pectin, which works as bulk laxative. Dietary fiber helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances in the colon as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
  • Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing re-absorption of cholesterol in the colon.
  • The fruit contains very good levels of vitamin-A (provides about 1150 IU per 100g), and flavonoid antioxidants such as naringenin, and naringin. Additionally, it is a moderate source of lycopene, beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein. Studies suggest that these compounds have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. The total antioxidant strength measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of grapefruit is 1548 µmol TE/100 g.
  • Further, vitamin A is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C; providing about 52% of DRI. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals. It, furthermore, is required for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue and aids in early wound healing. It also facilitates dietary iron absorption in the intestine.
  • 100 g of fresh fruit contains about 135 mg of potassium electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium effects.
  • Red varieties of grapefruits are especially rich in powerful flavonoid antioxidant, lycopene. Studies shows that lycopene protects skin from dangerous UV rays, and offers protection against prostate cancer.
  • Additionally, it contains moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and thiamin in addition to some resourceful minerals such as iron, calcium, copper, and phosphorus.

Jackfruit nutrition facts

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Health benefits of jackfruit

  • 100 g of edible jackfruit bulbs provide 95 calories. The fruit is made of soft, easily digestible flesh (bulbs) made up of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly.
  • Jackfruit is rich in dietary fiber, which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by binding to and eliminating cancer-causing chemicals from the colon.
  • Fresh fruit has small but significant amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid pigments such as carotene-ß, xanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin-ß. Together, these compounds play vital roles in antioxidant and vision functions. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining integrity of mucusa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and carotenes has been found to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Jackfruit is a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 13.7 mg or 23% of RDA. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
  • It is one of the rare fruits that is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.
  • Further, fresh fruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Raspberry nutrition facts

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Raspberry has conical shape, weighs about 2-4 g and contains 80-100 drupelets arranged in concentric whorls. While the most common type of raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is red-pink in color, hybrids actually come in a range of colors including black, purple, orange, yellow and white.

Health benefits of raspberries

  • Delicious raspberries are low in calories and fats. Nonetheless, they are rich source of dietary fiber, and antioxidants. 100 g berries hold just 52 calories but provide 6.5 g of fiber (16% of daily recommended intake).
  • Raspberries have significantly high levels of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid (tannin), quercetin, gallic acid, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. Scientific studies show that the antioxidant compounds in these berries play potential role against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neuro-degenerative diseases.
  • Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar substitute extracted from raspberries. A teaspoonful of xylitol carries just 9.6 calories as compared to 15 calories of sugar. Xylitol absorbed into the blood more slowly in the intestines than simple sugar and does not contribute to high glycemic index. It thus, can be helpful in diabetics to regulate wide fluctuations of blood sugar levels.
  • Fresh raspberries are an excellent sources of vitamin-C, which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. 100 g berries provide 26.2 mg or about 47% of DRI of vitamin C. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation, and scavenge harmful free radicals.
  • Raspberry contains anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, and vitamin E. In addition to the above-mentioned antioxidants, it is also rich in several other health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and ß-carotene, albeit in small amounts. Altogether, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Raspberry has an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 µmol TE per 100 grams, crediting it among the top-ranked ORAC fruits.
  • They contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is utilized by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
  • They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K. The berries contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

Quince fruit nutrition facts

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Quince fruit weighs about 250-750 g or more in some varieties. Inside, its flesh is light yellow, gritty and has multiple seeds concentrated at its center as in apples. Raw quince has intense fruity aroma and together with its bright yellow color instantly attracts the fruit lover’s attention. However, raw fruits, even after ripen, generally astringent and tart.

Health benefits of quince

  • Quince is low calorie fruit. 100 g fresh raw fruit provides 57 calories. In addition, it composes several vital poly-phenolic antioxidants than apples & pears. The fruit is a storehouse of phyto-nutrients such as dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Quince flesh along with its peel contains good amounts of fiber. Further, its gritty granules in the pulp composed of astringent compounds known as tannins namely, catechin and epicatechin. They bind to cancer-causing toxins and chemicals in the colon, and thereby protecting its mucous membrane from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cancers, and diverticulitis. In addition, it helps reduce body weight and blood LDL cholesterol levels.
  • It has several phenolic compounds such as caffeoylquinic acid, procyanidin-B2, oligomeric procyanidin, polymeric procyanidin etc., and essential oils like furfural, limonene, linalol, vomifoliol, toluene, ß-ionone, a-terpineol, etc. Together; these compounds give quince its unique fragrance.
  • Ripe quince fruit has good concentration of vitamin C. 100 g fruit provides 15 mg or 25% of RDA of vitamin-C. Fruits rich in this vitamin help remove harmful oxygen-free radicals from the body. Vitamin C helps boost immunity, reduce viral episodes and inflammatory conditions.
  • It is a good source of minerals such as copper (130 µg or 14% of RDA), iron, potassium, and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6).
  • Although not well documented, quince fruit, like pears, has anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit as well its seed’s extraction suggested in the treatment of cystitis, atopic dermatitis, recommended by health practitioners as a safe alternative in the preparation of food products for allergic people.

Peaches nutrition facts

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Health benefits of Peaches

  • Wonderfully delicious peaches are low in calories (100 g just provide 39 calories), and contain no saturated fats. Nonetheless, they are packed with numerous health promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins.
  • The total measured anti-oxidant strength (ORAC value) of 100 g peach fruit is 1814 TE (Trolex equivalents).
  • Fresh peaches are a moderate source of antioxidant, vitamin-C. Vitamin-C has anti-oxidant effects and is required for connective tissue synthesis inside the human body. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps develop resistance against infectious agents, and help scavenges harmful free radicals.
  • Fresh fruits are also a moderate source of vitamin-A and ß-carotene. ß-carotene is a pro-vitamin, which converts into vitamin A inside the body. Vitamin A is essential for night vision. It is also essential for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to offer protection from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • They are rich in many vital minerals such as potassium, fluoride and iron. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and is essential for prevention of dental caries. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Peaches contain health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and ß-cryptoxanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

Pineapple nutrition facts

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

 

Pineapple is a tropical, perennial, drought-tolerant plant. it grows up to 5-8 ft in height and spreads around about 3-4 feet radius cover. It is essentially a short, stout stem with a rosette of waxy long, needle-tipped leaves.

The plant bears several long, oval to cylindrical fruits during each season from March until June.

The ananas fruit is described as compound (multiple) type of fruit that develops from many small fruitlets fused together around central core. Its pulp is juicy and fleshy with the stem serving as a supporting fibrous core. The outer skin features rough, tough, and scaly rind. The color in the ripe fruits may be yellow, orange-yellow or reddish. Internally, its juicy flesh may range from creamy white to yellow and has a mix of sweet and tart taste with rich flavor. Each fruit measures up to 12 inches in length and weighs 1 to 8 pounds or more.

 

Health benefits of Pineapple fruit

  • Fresh pineapple is low in calories. Nonetheless, it is a storehouse for several unique health promoting compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • 100 g fruit provides just about 50 calories equivalent to that of apples. Its flesh contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber like pectin.
  • Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that consumption of pineapple regularly helps fight against arthritis, indigestion and worm infestation.
  • Fresh pineapple is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin C. 100 g fruit contains 47.8 or 80% of this vitamin. Vitamin C is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • It also contains small amount Vitamin A (provides 58 IU per 100 g) and beta-carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required maintaining healthy mucusa, skin and is essential for vision. Studies suggests that consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the human body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • In addition, ananas fruit is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like copper, manganese and potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is a helpful cofactor for red blood cell synthesis. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger.

Watermelon nutrition facts

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

 

Watermelon has neutral flavor, and its taste somewhat described as plain-sweet water (light sugar syrup). Its flesh is soft yet crunchy unlike soft, creamy texture of muskmelons.

Varieties of watermelon-fruits are cultivated world over, featuring variation in their size, shape, and color of the flesh (red, orange, and yellow).

 

Health benefits of watermelon

  • Rich in electrolytes and water content, melons are nature’s gift to beat tropical summer thirst.
  • Watermelons are very low in calories (just 30 calories per 100 g) and carry minimal fats. Nonetheless, they plentiful in numerous health promoting phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants essential for optimum health.
  • Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin-A, which is a powerful natural anti-oxidant. 100 g fresh fruit provides 569 mg or 19% of daily-required levels of this vitamin. It is one of essential vitamin for vision and immunity. Vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucusa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is also rich in anti-oxidant flavonoids like lycopene,lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants have been found to offer protection against colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. Phyto-chemicals present in watermelon like lycopene and carotenoids have the ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen-free radicals.
  • Watermelon is an excellent source of carotenoid pigment, lycopene and indeed, superior to raw red tomato. 100 g of fresh melon provides 4532 µg lycopene, whereas this value only 2573 µg for tomatoes. Studies suggest that lycopene offer certain protection to skin against harmful UV rays.
  • Watermelon fruit is a good source of potassium; Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It, thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
  • Furthermore, it contains a good amount of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), vitamin-C, and manganese. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • Total measured antioxidant strength (ORAC value) of watermelon is 142 µmol TE/100 g.

Mulberries nutrition facts

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

 

Three species have been recognized for their economic importance.

  • White mulberry (Morus alba) is native to eastern and central China.
  • Red or American mulberry (Morus rubra) is native to eastern United States.
  • Black mulberry (Morus nigra) is native to western Asia.

Mulberries are large, deciduous trees native to the warm, temperate, and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Technically, mulberry fruit is an aggregation of small fruits arranged concentrically around the central axis as in blackberry or loganberries. Each fruit measures 2-5 cm in length. In most species, mulberries are purple-red when ripen; however, they can be white, red, purple or multiple variegated colors in the same fruit.

 

Health benefits of mulberries

  • Delicious, fleshy, succulent mulberries are less in calories (just 43 calories per 100 g). They compose of health promoting phyto-nutrient compounds like polyphenol pigment antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • Mulberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries have potential health effects against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections.
  • The berries contain resveratrol, another polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. Resveratrol protects against stroke risk by altering molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels; reducing their susceptibility to damage through reduced activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) but potentiating production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
  • In addition, these berries are an excellent sources of vitamin-C (36.4 mg per 100, about 61% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals.
  • Further, the berries also contain small amounts of vitamin A, and vitamin E, in addition to the above-mentioned antioxidants. Consumption of mulberry provides another group of health promoting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, ß-carotene and a-carotene in small but notably significant amounts. Altogether, these compounds help act as protect from harmful effects of oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid selectively concentrates into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant functions and protects the retina from the harmful ultraviolet rays through light-filtering actions.
  • Mulberries are an excellent source of iron, which is a rare feature among berries, contain 1.85 mg/100 g of fruits (about 23% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
  • They also good source of minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  • They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K. Contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

Tangerines nutrition facts

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Health benefits of tangerines

  • As in oranges, Tangerines too are very low (53 calories/100 g) in calories. Nevertheless, they are valuable sources of flavonoid anti-oxidants like naringenin, naringin, hesperetin, vitamin A, carotenes, xanthins and luteins; in fact, several times higher than in the oranges.
  • In addition, the citrus fruits are very rich sources of vitamin-C (ascorbic acid), a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin-C is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant, which play vital role in collagen synthesis, wound healing, anti-viral, anti-cancer activity, and help prevent from neuro-degenerative diseases, arthritis, and cold/fever…etc., by removing oxidant-free radicals from the body. Vitamin C helps absorb iron in the food by reducing ferrous form of the iron elements to easily absorbing ferric form inside the gut.
  • Further, they contain natural soluble and insoluble fiber like hemi-cellulose, pectin…etc., which prevents cholesterol absorption in the gut. Adequate fiber in the food aids in smooth bowel movements by acting as a laxative.

Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established fact that citrus fruits, especially oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as phyto-chemical antioxidants; soluble and insoluble dietary fibers play a vital role in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases.

Star fruit (carambola) nutrition facts

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Health benefits of star fruit

  • Star fruit is one of very low calorie exotic fruits. 100 g fruit just provides 31 calories, which is much lower than for any other popular tropical fruits. Nonetheless, it has an impressive list of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins required for well-being.
  • The fruit along with its waxy peel provides a good amount of dietary fiber. Fiber helps prevent absorption of dietary LDL cholesterol in the gut. The dietary fibers also help protect the mucous membrane of the colon from exposure to toxic substances by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
  • Star fruit contains good quantities of vitamin-C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 34.7 mg or 57% of daily-required levels of vitamin C. In general, consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • Star fruit is rich in antioxidant phyto-nutrient polyphenolic flavonoids. Some of the important flavonoids present are quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid. Total polyphenol contents (Folin assay) in this fruit is 143 mg/100 g. Altogether, these compounds help protect from deleterious effects of oxygen derived free radicals by warding them off the body.
  • In addition, it is a good source of B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together, these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.
  • It also carry small amount of minerals and electrolytes like potassium, phosphorus, and zinc and iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure; thus, it counters bad influences of sodium.

 

Medicinal uses

Star fruit and its juice is often recommended in many folk medicine in Brazil as a diuretic (to increase urine output), expectorant, and to suppress cough.

Persimmon fruit nutrition facts

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Health benefits of persimmon fruit

  • Persimmon fruit is moderately high in calories (provides 70 calories/100 g) but very low in fats. Its smooth textured flesh is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g of fresh fruit holds 3.6 g or 9.5% of recommended daily intake of soluble and insoluble fiber.
  • Persimmons contain health benefiting flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants such as catechins and gallocatechins in addition to having an important anti-tumor compound, betulinic acid. Catechins found to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.
  • Some of other anti-oxidant compounds found abundantly in this fruit are vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds work as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It, thus, helps prevent “Age-related macular related macular disease”(ARMD) in the elderly.
  • Persimmons are also a very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant (especially native Chinese and American persimmons; provide 80% of DRI). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • It is good in many valuable B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin…etc. These vitamins act as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.
  • Fresh and dry Persimmon fruits also contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese, and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.

Passion fruit nutrition facts

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Health benefits of passion fruit

  • Delicious, passion fruit is rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. 100 g fruit contains about 97 calories.
  • The fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g fruit pulp contains 10.4 g or 27% of fiber. Good fiber in the diet helps remove cholesterol from the body. Being a good bulk laxative, it also helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances in the colon and wiping off cancer-causing toxic substances from the colon.
  • Passion fruit is good in vitamin C, providing about 30 mg per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • The fruit carry very good levels of vitamin-A (provides about 1274 IU per 100 g), and flavonoid antioxidants such as ß-carotene and cryptoxanthin-ß. Current research studies suggest that these compounds have antioxidant properties, and along with vitamin A are essential for good eye-sight.
  • Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids may helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh granadilla is very rich in potassium. 100 g fruit pulp has about 348 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids, and helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Furthermore, granadilla is a very good source of minerals. Iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus are present in adequate amounts in the fruit.